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M 10-2, T-F 9-5 Pacific Standard Time

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Saranac Lake ArtWorks
2023 Adirondack Plein Air Festival

Event Details 

2023 Adirondack Plein Air Festival Aug 14-19, 2023 

2023 marks the 15th anniversary of the Adirondack Plein Air Festival. Come spend a week in the historic village of Saranac Lake, located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Sponsored by Saranac Lake ArtWorks, a not-for-profit arts organization, we can offer the serene beauty and mountain landscapes which so influenced the Hudson River school painters in the 19th century. The Adirondack Park contains the largest wilderness areas east of the Mississippi, yet just an easy days drive from New York City and Boston.. 

There are 5 days of outdoor painting and special activities like a Nocturne Contest, a “Paint the Town” Silent Auction, a Special Preview Party, a Quick Draw Competition, and a huge, well- attended Show & Sale on Aug 18-19. 40 Artists will be selected to participate, along with 10 alternates in case of cancellations. 

Awards Juror & Workshop Presenter: Mick McAndrews. Mick's award-winning paintings strive to capture the mood and atmosphere of a subject combining the magic of watercolor with reverence for composition and design to create works of sophisticated simplicity. Mick is a signature member of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society (Crest Award recipient), the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society (Sylvan Grouse Guild inductee), the Baltimore Watercolor Society, the Whiskey Painters of America, and the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association. More information about Mick and his workshop is on our website. 

Covid Precautions: Festival event plans are subject to change. All participants will be asked to comply with any CDC or New York State guidelines for health and safety. 

Eligibility: Registration is through OnlineJuriedShows and is open to all plein air painters. 

For best results submit high quality 72 dpi images under 4 MB, and close to 1920 pixels on the longest side. Image files should be jpg. For help with your entries, contact OnlineJuriedShows at or 888-666-1351

Fees: Registration is $40 and must be accompanied by the submission of 3 images, all plein air paintings, cropped, no frames. Be sure to follow the OnlineJuriedShows requirements for images. 

Jurors: There will be 3 selection jurors (to be determined), all accomplished plein air artists, preferably using different media and from different parts of the country. 

Sales: All sales will be handled by Saranac Lake ArtWorks. A 30% commission will be applied to all sales, with the exception of the “Paint the Town” Silent Auction. Participating artists will be asked to donate a small, unframed painting for the auction and may receive a 50% commission on the final high bid, or donate 100% of it. Funds go to support the ArtWorks Developing Artist Mentor Program. Artists who sell “off the easel” will submit their 30% commission via cash or check to Saranac Lake ArtWorks. 

Checks for sales will be remitted within 2 weeks after the conclusion of the Show & Sale. 

Workshop: Awards Juror Mick McAndrews will present a 2 day workshop on Aug 12-13, prior to the event. The cost will be $300, with a $50 deposit required. It is open to both artists accepted into the Festival as well as non-participants. Full details will be on the ArtWorks website. 

Lodging/Transportation: A list of area motels, B&B’s, and vacation rentals can be found on the ArtWorks website. There are several campgrounds (with painting opportunities) nearby. More information about lower-cost housing and/or lodging with host families will be made available at a later time. 

2023 Adirondack Plein Air Festival Aug 14-19, 2023 

Artists must provide their won transportation to and from Saranac Lake, NY. The Adirondack Regional Airport serves the area, as well as the Burlington, VT and Albany, NY airports, both around 2 hours away. Contact us if you have travel questions. 

Awards: A total of over $5000 in awards will be given out, in cash and merchandise. 

Timeline of Events 

  • Feb 1: Registration opens through 
  • Apr 14: Registration closes 
  • April 24: Notifications sent out that week 
  • May 22: Deadline to receive signed artist agreements 
  • Aug 14: Check-in and surface stamping 10 am-7 pm; painting may begin 
  • Aug 14: “Meet the Artists” Reception, 7 - 9 pm; nocturne painting encouraged 
  • Aug 15: “Paint the VIC” Day at the Paul Smith’s College VIC 
  • Aug 16: “Paint the Adirondacks” Day - artists choice, maps with suggested painting locations will be provided 
  • Aug 17: “Paint the Town” Day - artists paint in the historic Village of Saranac Lake and are requested to submit a small, unframed painting for the Silent Auction. There is also a festive “3rd Thursday ArtWalk: from 5-7:30 pm on Main St - artists are encouraged to set up and paint as visitors stroll Main St. to see other displays of arts and crafts and live music. 
  • Aug 183 Framed Paintings due, to be juried for prizes, between 9 am - 1 pm, in the Town Hall Auditorium. The Saranac Lake Fish & Game Club will also be open starting at sunrise for artists to paint the Saranac River and mountain views. Jurying from 1 - 3 pm. Additional framed work may be added to display walls starting at 5 pm. 
  • Aug 18: Special Preview Party, 6 - 9 pm; tickets are $20/person (no charge for artists and 1 guest); Awards at 7:30 pm. 
  • Aug 19: Quick Draw Competition, downtown, 9 - 11 am; paintings due at Town Hall at 11:30 am 
  • Aug 19: Show & Sale, 12 - 5 pm, FREE admission. Lunch will be provided for artists. 

Full event details will be provided to accepted artists well in advance of the event, will be on the Artworks website, and will also be in the packets of materials available at check-in. 

Disclaimer/Legal: Upon acceptance, artists will be sent the agreement to participate and will need to sign and return it by May 22. By signing it artists give permission to Saranac Lake ArtWorks to use photos of you and your work for publicity and promotional purposes and accept the 30% commission on sales (not including the Silent Auction donation). 

Adirondack Plein Air Festival Coordinator: Martha Spear,  

All event information will be posted on the Saranac Lake ArtWorks website:  



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